An express 5 night blitz of the must see sights and highlights of North Korea, this spring tour includes a detailed exploration of Pyongyang, arguably the most bizarre city on earth, together with an overnight stay in Kaesong to take in a number of sights, including the unmissable Panmunjom and DMZ. This tour will coincide with the 107th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung, one of the most important dates in the North Korean calendar, with low-level celebrations expected on this date. This small group tour will operate for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 persons.
For those looking for a more in-depth tour at a similar time of year, our Extended Kim Il Sung Spring Break Tour is scheduled to operate from the 11th - 23rd April.
Make your own way to Beijing Capital Airport, to depart on the Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang. On arrival meet with your Korean guides and driver. After passing through immigration and customs head into the city centre and to Yanggak Island, here checking into the Yanggakdo Hotel for an overnight stay. After checking in head out for a welcome dinner in the Pyongyang Duck BBQ Restaurant. (Snack On Flight/D)
This morning check out of your hotel. Departing the Yanggakdo drive to the city centre and start the day with a walk from the exterior of the Pyongyang Grand Theatre to Kim Il Sung Square and then onto the Foreign Language Bookshop, a good spot to pick up a wide range of publications, postcards and the like. From here pop into the Vienna Coffee Shop to relax over a hot drink (at your own expense) before heading to the Grand People’s Study House — the national library and a major centre of learning. The view from the balcony atop the study house down onto Kim Il Sung Square affords a spectacular vista of central Pyongyang.
After lunch head underground for a journey on the impressive Pyongyang Metro, travelling one stop from Puhung to Yonggwang (arguably the two most impressive stations) before pressing on four stops to Kaeson. At Kaeson station surface beside the Arch of Triumph, 10 metres higher than its Parisian counterpart. From the Arch depart Kaesong and spend the rest of the afternoon driving south to Kaesong. En-route to Kaesong stop at the the Three Point Charter For National Reunification and the UNESCO world heritage listed Tomb of King Kongmin, one of the best preserved royal tombs in the country. (B/L/D)
This morning pay a brief visit to Sonjuk Bridge before heading South to Panmunjom - the DMZ and border with South Korea. Upon arrival at Panmunjom, which is often the highlight of any visit to North Korea, meet with an army escort who will explain the background to the history of the DMZ, before moving on to the Armistice Talks’ Hall and the building (and attached small museum) where the Armistice was signed.
From here head right down to the border itself, where the group will be (local conditions permitting) escorted, possibly under the watchful eyes of South Korean soldiers, into one of the huts which straddle the North/South Korean border. Enjoy lunch at the Panmunjomkwan Restaurant inside the DMZ. This afternoon return to Kaesong and visit the Koryo History Museum (and attached stamp/souvenir shop) before spending the rest of the afternoon driving north back to Pyongyang. Return to the Yanggakdo Hotel and check in for a three night stay. After a long day of travelling enjoy dinner in the hotel. (B/L/D)
Visit the awesome Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the former residence of Kim Il Sung, and now the Mausoleum for both Kim Il Sung & Kim Jong Il. You will here see the bodies of both leaders lying in state. The Mausoleum itself is followed by exhibits showcasing medals of honour bestowed upon the leaders. (Please note for this site you will be expected to dress reasonably smartly). Moving on head to Mt. Taesong to visit the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery, home to the graves of more than 200 of Korea’s leading resistance figures over the years of Japanese rule and the Korean war, including the wife and mother of Kim Il Sung. If the weather is clear you will from here be afforded good views over Pyongyang. Return to the hotel for lunch and to change into more casual clothes.
This afternoon visit the Fatherland Liberation War Museum and the USS Pueblo, an 850 ton US spy boat captured in 1968 by the Koreans off the coast of Wonsan. The very large museum dedicated to this devastating war has some truly fascinating displays and exhibits and you will visit just some of the highlights before it is time to move on for a leisurely afternoon stroll through Moranbong, the main city park. Moranbong is a great location for people watching and to admire the scenery of the Taedong River below, particularly on Sundays. This evening enjoy a stroll along Ryomyong Street, a modern high-rise residential district and enjoy dinner in the KITC Ryomyong Restaurant . (B/L/D)
Being an important date, start the day with a visit to Mangyondae in the western suburbs, to visit the birthplace of President Kim Il Sung. From here drive to the Kwangbok Area Supermarket. This is the only “normal” Pyongyang supermarket that can be visited by tourists (and one of the only places in the country where one can obtain Korean currency at the “normal” exchange rate) - the best location to pick up some small items such as Korean made foodstuffs, cosmetics or clothing, for example. Moving on drive to Mt. Ryonggak where the will be a little time for walking on this forested hill, the highest point in Pyongyang, before enjoying a BBQ lunch in the area.
As today is a national holiday the itinerary for the rest of the day will be flexible. We have factored in a few flexible hours and hope to mingle with locals and take in some landmark monuments with visits the Monument to the Foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the Juche Tower. The Juche Tower is a symbol of the Juche Idea (national self reliance, literally “Master of one’s self”) penned by Kim Il Sung. Those who wish can pay a small fee (5 Euros at current) and be whisked via a lift to the top of the tower for spectacular views over the city. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner in a top city restaurant.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport to depart Pyongyang at 0850 on the JS151 flight to Beijing. On arriving in Beijing at 0950 your arrangements will end (times TBC). (B)